Right on the heels of releasing images of Harry, Ginny, and Albus Severus, Pottermore shared the first cast photos of Ron, Hermione, and Rose in Cursed Child today. While there are more than a few details to freak out about in the images, perhaps the most important one is what the cast photos reveal about Ron and Hermione's marriage — arguably one of the most controversial topics in the fandom, even to this day.
Most fans remember the uproar in early 2014 when J.K. Rowling revealed her belief that Hermione should have married Harry Potter. "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment," Rowling said in an issue of Wonderland guest-edited by Emma Watson, the original Hermione in the movie series. "That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron." She apologized if fans were disappointed, and added that in her imagination, Ron and Hermione would certainly have needed marriage counseling.
It seemed like a relatively harmless comment at the time — I mean, what was she going to do, write fan fiction of her own work and break them up? And then the unthinkable happened: Rowling is writing a fan fiction of her work. Well, kind of. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will inevitably depict the very marriage that J.K. Rowling essentially doomed in that interview, the same marriage that Rupert Grint theorized would end in divorce.
It's because of these high profile comments by Rowling and Grint that all eyes are on Ron and Hermione in this upcoming sequel, and why these images shared of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today are so much more significant than you might initially think. When you look at Ron and Hermione in these images, they look — dare I say — quite happy.
Ron seems to have the cheerful look of a dude who still supports the Chudley Cannons, clearly still wears his mother's knitting, and works in a joke shop with his older brother. Hermione still has that wry but kind nature, and is looking quite fierce in her ministry robes. Their daughter Rose is grinning with anticipation for her first year at Hogwarts. It seems, for all intents and purposes, that despite the controversy, the Weasley-Grangers are doing just fine.
And trust me, this is no accident. When you compare them to the picture of Albus, Harry, and Ginny that was released just yesterday, you immediately notice the definite tension.
Harry is clearly solemn, Albus is ill at ease, and Ginny is the only one among them smiling, still nowhere nearly as broadly as the Weasley-Grangers. I don't think this spells trouble for Harry and Ginny's marriage, of course, but I do mention this to point out that it's clear that they are not shying away from setting the tone for each of these families before we learn about the plot details — and the tone for the Weasley-Grangers seems significantly lighter.
As someone who has never been a huge fan of the Ron x Hermione ship, I'm genuinely curious how their marriage will be represented in the play. If they do end up getting along, it would be satisfying to see how J.K. Rowling makes it work, and how the two of them have learned to compromise each other's personalities. It's fairly clear from the images that they're still inherently the people they were when we left them 19 years earlier, but hopefully their relationship doesn't have nearly as many ups and downs as it did then.
In any case, this clearly bodes well for the Granger-Weasley clan. I foresee a lot of punch lines involving their relationship to lighten the tension of all the #drama going on in the Potter fam. And I also foresee a lot of multi-generational ass-kicking from Hermione and Rose, if she takes after her mother as much as J.K. Rowling says she does.
To learn more about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, visit the official website here.
Images: Courtesy of Charlie Gray